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Verizon to Kill Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans

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Verizon has confirmed that it will be killing off grandfathered unlimited data plans that it offers to 3G customers who had contracts in place prior to the carrier’s introduction of tiered data last July.

According to Fierce Wireless, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed the news at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference. Shammo says that 3G customers using unlimited data who migrate to 4G LTE will have to sign up for a shared data plan and get off the $30 per month unlimited plan.

Verizon has announced that a shared data plan will be coming by the middle of summer although the details surrounding the plan remain murky.

Read: Verizon Won’t Abandon Flip Phones.

Shammo, when asked how the carrier would move unlimited customers to this shared data plan, said that it will be LTE that will be the driving force behind the change. Those who wish to make the move to LTE will be forced into signing up for a shared data plan.

Verizon, for its part, doesn’t plan to release any 3G smartphones in 2012 and instead, will be strictly launching 4G LTE devices. This clearly will force the hand of customers who wish to remain with the carrier.

The carrier won’t be the only one releasing a shared data plan. AT&T is also gearing up to launch a shared data plan, a plan in which multiple devices can pull from a bucket of data, although like Verizon, it has neglected to provide any details.

Rumors have stated that Verizon will charge $10 per device and AT&T will likely charge around that price as well in an effort to stay competitive.

8 Comments

  1. Hector

    05/16/2012 at 11:55 am

    I have a 4g phone with the unlimited data plan in a 3g area. If and when the sg3 comes to verizon and I upgrade to that, will I be suckered in to the tiered plan?

  2. Ralph Bretz

    05/16/2012 at 12:03 pm

    Definetely leaving Verizon now. After the Nexus fiasco and now I’m losing my unlimited data theres no reason to stay. Verizon has been aweful this last year.

  3. Cory

    05/16/2012 at 2:27 pm

    What if I have a 3g phone with unlimited data and I upgraded to a 4g phone before this change? Do I get to keep my unlimited since im already in a 4g unlimited plan and not a 3g unlimited plan?

  4. eek

    05/17/2012 at 7:42 am

    Well thats an easy deal, once they force me to upgrade, I simply move to another phone network. Sorry you wont screw me verizon.

  5. Joe T.

    05/17/2012 at 8:20 am

    Totally confused.

    No more individual plans? Individual data plan must convert to a shared data plan? The FierceWireless linked article has a quote that makes it seem so: “Everyone will be on data share.”

    We have to pay the $9.99 per phone charge also (from the GBM linked article)?

    Does the subtle wording, “Grandfathered 3G plans” apply only to customers that had a 3G-only smartphone on 7/10/2011. At that time, it was fairly explicit that 4G phone owners get unlimited lifetime data.
    (Lifetime of what, we couldn’t tell, but at least the lifetime of that specific 4G phone.) Owners on 3G-only phones at that time were assured they also had unlimited data.

    • Brian

      05/27/2012 at 11:45 am

      Generally speaking and from everything I read, as long as you do not upgrade your phone again they cannot legally take away your unlimited data plan. However upon upgrading your phone now you will have to change to a different plan. They will probably be able to do the same if you trade out phones for some reason, but if you argue enough you can probably find someone who will reverse that.

      More or less, the only people who will be losing their Unlimited plan will be the ones who must get a new phone. If you are fine with your current one they won’t be taking it away.

  6. Charles Gardner

    05/29/2012 at 3:17 am

    That’s easy i will switch to a different company CAN VERIZON HERE ME NOW

  7. Ron

    06/07/2012 at 8:35 pm

    Best solution: Buy your own unlocked US LTE or unlocked international HSPA+ GSM phone and go with a no contract monthly plan from a GSM carrier like T-Mobile or AT&T. IMHO the best monthly plans are the web only T-Mobile plan – $30 for 100 talk minutes (10 cents per minute thereafter), unlimited text, 5 gig 4g data plan. The other good plan is Walmart Straight Talk $45 unlimited talk, data (unconfirmed 2gig of 4g unthrottled data then 2g throttled thereafter*) using either a AT&T or T-Mobile sim.

    *See Tracfone terms & conditions.

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